Spain kickstarted their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign in an emphatic fashion as they secured a thumping 7-0 win over Costa Rica.
One of the stars of the game was Real Madrid forward Marco Asensio, who scored a goal and played the role of a creative chief in the final third. It was a refreshing performance from a player, who had struggled with injury and form for the best part of the past two years.
Shortly after the victory, though, Asensio has praised some of his teammates for Spain’s emphatic win, including Barcelona starlet Gavi.
When asked about the young midfielder’s performance against Costa Rica, Asensio highlighted his quality, stating (h/t MARCA):
“Sometimes it’s surprising what he does at 18 years old. I watch him train and he has a great level and a lot of self-confidence. To outsiders, he can be surprising but we know what he can give us in this World Cup.
Gavi was indeed one of the main protagonists of Spain’s victory yesterday. The teenage sensation scored a goal and played a critical role in the transitions, helping La Roja move from midfield to attack almost effortlessly.
His goal meant that Gavi became the youngest-ever goalscorer at the World Cup since the legendary Pele in 1958.
In addition, the Barcelona playmaker was willing to move forward whenever it was necessary. His runs into the final third helped his team create numerical superiority in the final third, which ultimately overwhelmed the Costa Rican defensive lines.
Asensio also had a message for another Barcelona starlet in Alejandro Balde, who made his international debut for Spain on Wednesday against Costa Rica.
Let him play as he knows how. Try to do what the coach asks of us without any kind of pressure and continue along that line,” he said.
Asensio’s comments on Gavi and Balde are particularly interesting given the fact that the Spanish international has been linked with a move to Barcelona in recent months.
Asensio’s current contract at Real Madrid expires at the end of the season, which has reportedly put Barça on red alert. It appears the Catalans are interested in signing the attacker on a free transfer in the summer of 2023.